Senate adjourns over lack of quorum, resumes April 14
*As APC leads Senate with 63 seats, PDP 46
The Senate yesterday adjourned sitting as it could not form quorum following political activities across the country. It is to reconvene April 14 after governorship and state assembly elections.
The upper legislative chamber had reconvened for plenary after two weeks break for Presidential and National Assembly elections. However, seeing that the number of legislators in the chamber was only 13, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba called for adjournment.
Meanwhile, the results of the National Assembly election showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) won majority number with 63 seats while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 46 Senators.
Senator Ndoma-Egba on calling for adjournment said: “I have taken stock of Senators and I doubt if we have formed quorum. I call for adjournment till April 14 for members to participate in the governorship and state assembly elections and for the Easter break”.
Also before the adjournment, the Senate President, David Mark, maintained that it would be difficult for the Senate to form quorum in view of the tensed political atmosphere.
“We are all glued to the TV at the moment. I think it is going to be difficult for us to form a quorum the whole week.
“But in any case, because of the various political activities and the normal Easter break, I think it is only appropriate for us to resume first Tuesday after the gubernatorial and States Assembly elections. I think that is the bases on which the Senate leader made the proposal”, Mark said.
Briefing journalists after the adjournment, the Senate Leader informed that by the Senate rule, it was only right for them to adjourn sitting till after electioneering activities.
“By our rules the quorum is made up of one-third of the membership and we didn’t have the numbers today and I believe the reasons are obvious.
“We are in the middle of very intense political activity. Elections held a few days ago, results are still being announced, quite a number of Senators participated and they certainly could not be here.
“So, we did not have the numbers and without the quorum, you cannot take any decisions including approving the votes and proceedings.
“So, we have to quickly adjourn to enable members go and listen to the outcome of the presidential and other elections. And immediately after that is Easter and followed by the next line of elections. So, practically, it will be impossible for Senate to reconvene before April 14”, Ndoma-Egba stated.
The Senate Leader advised Nigerians to be lawful in their conducts and not take laws into their hands. He added that election was a process and that after the process, there will still be further processes to be followed in accordance with the law.
On the pending 2015 budget which was yet to be passed into law by the National Assembly, the Senate Leader noted that under the constitution, the recurrent aspect of the budget of the previous year would be in operation until June “meaning that as it is now, there was no constitutional lacuna as the country still has a budget”.
He however declined comments on the alleged malfunctioning of the Smart Card Reader. According to him, “When the entire processes are concluded, I think that there will be a review. It is only at that point that we will be dealing with statistics. For now, it is just a story. We do not have the facts; we do not have the full facts”, he stated.
Meanwhile, some of the PDP Senators have claimed that the defeat the party concealed could be blamed on impunity.
A Senator from the North Central who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that because the party surrendered its structure to the state governors, there was anger and frustration among party members and the only way to express it was through protest votes which the opposition was the beneficiary.
“Watch, the worst results are about to be announced. This is to put a stop to the impunity”.
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